Is a national voucher program coming soon? U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos unveils “Education Freedom Scholarships”

BY: - March 1, 2019

In a plan similar to the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program — which critics call vouchers — U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is pushing a $5-billion federal tax credit program for states across the country. The proposed “Education Freedom Scholarships” could be used to enroll students in private schools or other education programs and […]

Michael Cohen

What about Donald Trump’s scores on the SAT college entrance exam?

BY: - February 28, 2019

Everybody’s clamoring to see Trump’s tax returns, but the education community is gunning for something else: the president’s SAT college entrance exam scores. The subject of Trump’s SAT scores came up during the blockbuster Congressional testimony this week from former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen. U.S. representatives questioned Cohen about how many times Trump asked […]

The ups and downs of Advanced Placement: Roughly half the Florida kids who took the tough exams in 2018 didn’t pass.

BY: - February 28, 2019

In a swath of North Florida school districts, only a handful of high school students, at best, take top-level classes that can be a ticket to college. Elsewhere, thousands of Florida students take a hefty lineup of the tough Advanced Placement classes and pass the AP exams that can give them college credits and a […]

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What about traditional public schools? State teacher’s union fights back over voucher programs

BY: - February 26, 2019

With the governor and Republican-led Legislature pushing to expand state voucher programs for kids to attend private schools, the Florida Education Association is fighting back. The statewide teacher’s union has launched what’s called a “Fund Our Future” broadcast and digital ad campaign to promote public education and neighborhood schools, saying traditional public schools face obstacles […]

Florida Supreme Court

FL Supreme Court orders statewide grand jury over school safety failures

BY: - February 25, 2019

The Florida Supreme Court has ordered a yearlong statewide grand jury to investigate crimes related to school safety issues following the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last February. The Monday order comes after Gov. Ron DeSantis petitioned the high court on Feb. 13 to impanel a statewide grand jury. The action is unusual […]


What do people from all walks of life really think about FL’s education system?

BY: - February 25, 2019

Education isn’t high on the list when it comes to the most important issues facing Florida, according to a new statewide poll. Jobs and the economy, heath care, the environment and climate change, and immigration and crime ranked higher than education in the poll of 800 registered voters commissioned by the Foundation for Excellence in Education […]


The people you elected are not actually the key to making laws happen. Guess who is?

BY: - February 25, 2019

In journalism school, we got two directives to guide our reporting careers: If your mother says she loves you, check it out. Follow the money. It’s easy to follow the money in Tallahassee –  we just stroll a few blocks from our downtown Florida Phoenix office. Like the azaleas and camellias, political fundraisers are in […]

Catholic school

An even playing field? Kids getting vouchers for private school can skip the litany of state exams in Florida

BY: - February 22, 2019

Thousands of public school students in Florida will take state exams this spring in reading, writing, math, science and social studies, and the state will publish the results — regardless of whether scores are glowing or embarrassing. That won’t happen at private schools. Students who get “scholarships” or vouchers to attend private schools with public […]

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Another school voucher proposal, this time from Senate Republicans

BY: - February 21, 2019

A week after Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed a new “Florida Equal Opportunity Scholarship Program,” key Senate Republicans announced their own voucher plan on Thursday, rattling Democrats who oppose using public dollars for private school vouchers. The Senate Republican proposal is called the “Family Empowerment Scholarship.” The money for the scholarships, or vouchers, will come out […]

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Not all students go to college: Gov. DeSantis wants kids to get into career tech programs and get good jobs

BY: - February 20, 2019

During the campaign season, then-candidates Ron DeSantis and Andrew Gillum found common ground: Expanding career and technical education programs that can prepare kids for work without getting a four-year college degree. Now as governor, DeSantis is following through on some of his career tech goals. DeSantis recommended about $507-million for “workforce education” in his proposed […]


DeSantis plan: FL families could be well over poverty threshold and still get public dollars for private school

BY: - February 19, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis’s proposed school voucher expansion across Florida is not targeted specifically for poor families – which have historically been beneficiaries of the programs that allow students to attend private schools with public dollars. New details emerging about the governor’s “Equal Opportunity Scholarship Program” — proposed last week– show students could be eligible for […]

One Year Anniversary Parkland tragedy

Drug smuggling, organized crime and now, education: A statewide grand jury is a novel approach to keeping kids safe at school

BY: - February 18, 2019

Once upon a time a Florida governor decided to create a Statewide Grand Jury so the good guys could eliminate drug smuggling. That governor was Reubin Askew and we all know how that ended. Gov. Ron DeSantis wants a Statewide Grand Jury to deal with violence in public schools. It could well turn out to […]